It’s not too often that I find myself really wanting to become a good person. Not necessarily “good” as in one who follows all the rules, but good as in whole, authentic, loving, and true. As a parent of two very young kids, its not often that I even have energy for such a notion. I’m usually much more concerned about getting enough sleep, catching the latest episode of Louie, and slurping down as much coffee as my body can possibly handle in any given situation. Either way, a couple weeks ago I felt this strong hope that I was for real. This all went down at a coffee shop with my new friend, Jacob.
See, I’m a mentor. A mentor to a mentor, actually.
As a volunteer for the Next Generation Department at my home church, Open Door, I work with this freshman college student who in turn mentors a couple junior high kids.
As we sipped our coffee (Jacob sipped, I slurped). I felt some of that good kind of pressure. I know that Jacob is a solid guy. I actually want what’s best for him, for the kids he mentors, and I just really don’t want to mess this up. I want to be my true self, and if in any way I can be of help along his journey in life, I want to be ready.
I drove home from our first one-on-one meeting asking myself what I needed to do to be “ready” and I was struck at how much I really cared about this simple relationship and how much it was affecting me.
Mentoring is powerful. Not just for those junior high kids who are the focal point of the program, but for Jacob, and for me. Surprisingly, it has become a sort of spiritual discipline in my life. A place that I go to give, to be grounded, and challenged. As I think about the things that are actually helping me inch towards the loving character of Christ, mentoring is near the top. It’s one of those things that actually works, like good ol’ hot cup of coffee.